Sugary drinks 'slash success rates of IVF'

Image: Getty Images
Image: Getty Images

New research has found that drinking just one sweet beverage a day lowers the likelihood of IVF being a success by over 10 per cent, while gulping down more than one could lower the chance of a live birth from IVF by a worrying 16 per cent.

Furthermore, experts from Harvard University found that sugary beverages negatively impact the maturity and number of a woman’s ovarian cells and cuts the number of high-quality embryos, all of which affect pregnancy.

The researchers looked at 340 women who underwent IVF treatment between 2014 and 2016 and studied them throughout the second stage of the process, the ovarian stimulation, during which the aim is to harvest as many mature eggs from the ovaries as possible.

Participants were given a questionnaire on their drink consumption, while their IVF results also took into account their medical background and records.

Analysing the results, it was found that a single sugary beverage lowered the success rates of IVF by 12 per cent, while any more than one drink cut the likelihood of having a baby via the treatment by 16 per cent.

Various scientists have shared their thoughts on the findings, which were published in journal Fertility and Sterility and back up previous research that warned of the dangers of high blood glucose environments, which hold back eggs and embryos from thriving.

Professor Geraldine Hartshorne from Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, isn’t convinced it is enough to go off of for now though, explaining, “This study has attempted to isolate sugary and caffeinated drink consumption from the rest of a person’s lifestyle in order to measure its association with IVF success. The authors found some association between sugary drinks and lower outcomes, however, the evidence is not very strong.”

Meanwhile, Doctor Dr Raj Mathur, member of the British Fertility Society, Consultant Gynaecologist at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, pointed out that while the patients may have not accurately recalled their beverage consumption, “the study does identify a potential correctable factor that may be reducing some patients’ chance of IVF success and should be taken note of by clinicians”.

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